Summer is for reading, and it’s also for making memories. Join us as we do both using E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan this summer.

Summer days are longer and a bit less structured. We’re spending a lot of time together. And sometimes we need something to do in the shade while we slurp popsicles and take a break from the heat, right?

Instead of going gangbusters on our summer plans, what if we kept things simple and meaningful, instead?

When it comes to your kids’ reading life, here’s what I suggest:

  1. Choose just 1 really good novel to read aloud with your kids
  2. Share an experience with your kids around that book
  3. Talk about the book

These 3 steps are the heart of family book culture.

Do this in your family, and you may find that your kids start to enjoy reading more than they ever have. They may start to pick up books more often in their free time, and to count your read-aloud sessions as some of their favorite summer memories.

Read with us?

I want to invite you to read along with my own family this summer. We’re reading The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, and it’s a perfect selection for this very purpose.

It appeals to all ages, it offers an opportunity for a great shared experience, and it’s easy to talk about. It’s hilariously funny, to boot, which is never a bad thing for a summertime read.

Before I show you how we’ll do this, grab the printable version of this FREE Family Book Club Guide by popping your email into the box below.

Go ahead and do it now… then keep reading! ⬇︎

Get the FREE Family Book Club Guide

You'll get The Trumpet of the Swan Family Book Club Guide right away, as well as emails with tips to help you connect with your kids through books

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Decide to read aloud just one novel with your kids this summer. Not three. Not five. Start with one.

If you’d like to join us, my family is going to be reading aloud The Trumpet of the Swan. In this story, you’ll meet the lovable swan Louis, his hilarious and talkative father, and a brass trumpet that has the potential to change everything. It’s a story about facing obstacles with pluck and determination, the beauty of music, and the power of friendship.

You can read it aloud or enjoy the audio version of the story, read by E.B. White himself (perfect if you have a road trip in your near future). There’s no schedule for reading– just read it throughout the summer, whenever it fits in with your family life.

All ages will enjoy this one, so invite the whole family!

A Trumpeter Swan and me in April near Bend, Oregon.

When you think about sharing an experience with your kids around a book, the key is to keep it simple.

I don’t mean go to the craft store and pick up supplies for an art project based on the story, or plan out a themed snack.

You just want to offer your kids a memorable experience with the book– one that they’ll look back on fondly.

For Trumpet of the Swan, pack up a picnic, your copy of the book, and a large blanket, and head to a local pond to enjoy the wildlife. Read aloud, nibble on some treats, and imagine Louis’s parents’ nest is nearby!

If you’d like, use the What Bird website or the Audubon Bird Guide App to identify various birds you notice while you’re there.

Do you have Trumpeter Swans in your area? Visit the Trumpeter Swan Society website to see if Trumpeters regularly visit a wildlife refuge near you and to download their free Swan and Goose identification brochure.

Ask any of the following questions to spark a conversation.

Remember this: asking compelling questions is more important than getting compelling answers, so just enjoy the conversation that unfolds.

You don’t need to have literary know-how to do this. If you know how to ask your kids about how their day was, you know how to talk with your kids about books.

You can ask these questions about The Trumpet of the Swan to kids of any age for a meaningful discussion:

  • How are Sam and Louis the same? How are they different?
  • Who is the most generous character in the book?
  • Should the Cob have taken the brass trumpet from the music store?
  • What surprised you most about this story?
  • What is something from The Trumpet of the Swan that you don’t want to forget?

That’s it!

This 3-step experience might just knock your reading socks right off. I’d wager that your kids will be way more into than you expect– and you might just find yourself reaching for another book afterward!

If you’d like our Family Book Club Reading Guide for The Trumpet of the Swan in printable form, just pop your email into that box below to grab it. ⬇︎

Get the FREE Family Book Club Guide

You'll get The Trumpet of the Swan Family Book Club Guide right away, as well as emails with tips to help you connect with your kids through books

Powered by ConvertKit
Trumpeter Swans our family saw near Bend, Oregon

My guess? You’ll find yourself and your kids more enthralled with books this summer than you ever imagined.

And hey… if you decide to read along with us this summer, use the #readaloudrevival hashtag to share pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s simple. It’s meaningful. Maybe even unforgettable. I can’t wait to get started!

Are you in?